Black Pearl: A Tribute To Josephine Baker

Next, we travel across the ocean to Oui Paris to tell the story of one of the most dynamic performers the world has ever seen.  Written and directed by Associate Director Daryl Brooks, The Black Ensemble Presents “Black Pearl: The Story of Josephine Baker.” This show takes us through the life of the first black international superstar, starting with her meager beginnings to the star power of one of the most iconic figures that the world has ever seen.



Black Pearl A Tribute To Josephine Baker

  • Sorry. No events to display.

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended "...But as the excellent new show at Black Ensemble Theater in Chicago makes clear, Baker's crossing, and subsequent switch to French citizenship, came at a price. She had to deal with the sense of dislocation experienced by many emigres, a feeling that she could no longer love the country that did not love her back. And, of course, when you really analyze what the French loved Baker to do, you find her feeling obliged to perform numbers like the signature "danse sauvage." more...

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended "...It is only in the very final moments of "Black Pearl: A Tribute to Josephine Baker" - the Black Ensemble Theater's sensational new show - that archival photographs of the groundbreaking performer who became the toast of Paris in the 1920s are projected above the stage. And that is as it should be, for up until then, two remarkable actresses with their own formidable star power - Aeriel Williams (as the irrepressible young Josephine) and Joan Ruffin (as her more mature incarnation) - turn in such vivid portrayals of the fabled dancer-singer that you fully believe you are in the presence of Baker herself." more...

Stage and Cinema - Recommended "...Happily, the good and hard times fend equally well in B.E.T.'s gorgeous recreation, its 18 musical numbers well shaped by the excellent Robert Reddrick and a combo of seven. The 14 cast members are everything and everywhere, perfect for their periods and blessings to their songs and dances." more...

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended "...Baker (terrific performances from Joan Ruffin and Aerial Williams as the older and younger Josephine, respectively) chronicles her life from childhood, pointing to a few choice accomplishments along the way, among them her championing the integration of segregated theaters in the U.S. and spying for the French resistance during the Nazi occupation. While not everything comes into full view-her 12 adopted children, for one thing-the play is a thoroughly compelling portrait of Baker and her remarkable place in history." more...

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended "...Black Pearl: A Tribute to Josephine Baker has all the elements of a fabulous show: terrific songs, outstanding dance numbers, strong performances including the ensemble and a worthy story. I learned much about Josephine Baker while I was thrilled by the depiction of her life. Black Ensemble with Black Pearl: A Tribute to Josephine Baker and their recent The Nicholas Brothers show that they are committed to a 'Dance Theater Season'. Expert dance showstoppers adds more reason to catch the shows at the Black Ensemble Theater." more...

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended "...Daryl D Brooks new show Black Pearl: A Tribute to Josephine Baker is a sparkling new work of Music Theatre that will have should have a lengthy life as the go to bioplay on this seminal figure in world entertainment. It’s a long overdue marvelous tribute to one of the most vibrant “mothers” of American theatre, even though most of her career was spent as an expat in France." more...

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended "...Songs in this production are: "C'est Si Bon", "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home", "Maple Leaf Rag" (what a great dance number), "Blue Skies", "I'm Just Wild About Harry", "Charleston". "Banana Dance (the opening of the second act-wow!), "Begin The Beguine", "Afetr I Say, I'm Sorry", "The Times They Are A Changing" and the final song where we have both the young and older Josephine bringing their voices as one, "My Way" ( it will send chills up and down your spine). There are others, but this list is more than enough to make you want to visit this theater." more...

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended "...Ruffin and Williams carry the show but they do have considerable help from the large supporting cast-Kylah Frye, Rhonda Preston, Lemond Hayes (a terrific dancer), William Rowland, Linnea Norwood, Dennis Dent, Gregory Slater, Kyle Smith, Jake Stempel, Kelly Maryanski, Vincent Jordan, and Phillip Christian. They all play multiple role and play them well." more...

Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Highly Recommended "...If you could go back in time to see one deceased performer in concert, who would it be? Fans of classic rock might choose John Lennon or Freddie Mercury while opera fans would likely select Maria Callas or Enrico Caruso. However, for a select group of enthusiasts of early jazz and cabaret music, Josephine Baker would be high on the list. For that set, Black Pearl at the Black Ensemble Theater is the next best thing. more...

Ticket Information

Ticket Prices *Senior are 65 and older – Groups are 10 or more people For upcoming dates and show times Click Here for Tickets

Box Office Hours Call 773-769-4451 to order tickets through our box office 10:00am – 6:00pm Monday through Friday / 11:00am - 6:00pm Saturday / 12:00pm – 4:00pm Sunday *We are open until 30 minute after the show starts on nights with evening performances.

Five Play Card The Black Ensemble Theater Five Play Subscription Card allows patrons more flexibility than season tickets and offers a substantial savings off regular season ticket prices. The Five Play Subscription Card makes a great gift for any occasion. For more details or to purchase your Five Play Subscription Card, contact the box office at 773-769-4451. Platinum Card (Good for: Friday 8:00pm, Saturday 8:00pm, Sunday 3:00pm). $292.50 – 10% SAVINGS! Gold Card (Good for: Wednesday 7:30pm, Thursday 7:30pm, Saturday 3:00pm) $247.50 – 10% SAVINGS!

Group Sales Let us plan a special evening for your group. Our lovely upstairs gallery is available for a pre-show reception. • The group discount is available for 10 or more tickets. • Half of the balance due must be paid to secure your seats. • Full payment on all orders is due no later than 2 weeks before the performance. • A group ticket order made within 2 weeks of show date must be paid in full when your order is placed. • Your group is responsible for the total number of tickets on the contract. • There are no refunds or exchanges on any tickets. For group reservations and information please call Caren Blackmore at 773-769-4451.

Will Call Will Call tickets may be picked up one hour before show time. You will need either your confirmation number, the credit card, or a photo ID to pick up tickets.

Late Seating For the consideration of the artist and our patrons, anyone arriving while a performance is in progress will be seated at the discretion of theater management.

Accessible Seating This Facility is fully accessible. Please inform ticket office at time of purchase if special seating requests are needed.

General Rules Cameras or any other recording devices are not permitted into the theater at any time. There is no eating or drinking allowed inside of the theater except in designated areas.

Cancellation Policy All ticket sales are final. There are no refunds or exchanges on any tickets.

Miscellaneous Black Ensemble Theater ticket orders are filled in order of receipt. Seats are assigned on a best-available basis. Please note that all events in the Studio Theatre are general admission. Tickets may be purchased by cash, MasterCard, VISA, AMEX, or Discover. Telephone reservations will be charged to a credit card at the time of reservation.

Valet / Parking Service Black Ensemble Theater will offer a valet service to park your car. Prices are $10.